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Stars Ian Poulter and Thomas Pieters confirmed for Irish Open in Portstewart

Ryder Cup stars Ian Poulter and Thomas Pieters have confirmed they will be playing at The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Portstewart next month.

Fan favourite Andrew 'Beef' Johnston is also taking part.

Pieters and Poulter will join Team Europe teammates Danny Willett, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Matt Fitzpatrick, Andy Sullivan, Chris Wood, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Rory McIlroy, who will host the tournament in conjunction with his charity the Rory McIlroy Foundation.

McIlroy will return home to defend his title, while World Number Two Hideki Matsuyama will make his regular European Tour debut having finished joint runner-up at last week’s US Open Championship.

This is certainly one of the strongest fields I’ve ever seen for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, if not the strongest. It’s really shaping up for an incredible week. Rory McIlroy

World Number 26 Pieters of Belgium made a huge impression on his Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine National last year despite Europe’s defeat, while Poulter has become one of the greats of the modern Ryder Cup era.

Johnston, meanwhile, rose to fame last year winning the Open de España at Real Clube Valderrama and has since become one of the biggest crowd-pleasers in the game.

Local stars Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell will also take part, alongside Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry.

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will feature a record US$7 million prize fund.

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